HARD CAST is not a gimmick


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Jinzoningen80
February 17, 2011, 09:19 PM
I thought the term “hard cast” was a gimmick and just used by makers who didn’t know or didn’t want to tell you any specifics like the BHN. My primary lead bullet source, mastercast.net, was one of those companies saying nothing more than “hard cast.” But I used them and had no problems for years. Now I’m always open to trying new bullets and in just the last 6 months, I’ve used bullets from TNT, SNS, and Mt Baldy. Without using hardness testers, and based solely on barrel leading, I can tell you that SNS is as hard as mastercast and Mt. Baldy was not far behind but Mt. Baldy will charge you nearly double the price.

Last month I found Missouri Bullet Company and read their website with great enthusiasm. “Hardness optimized” is their slogan and what they said made perfect sense so I went for it and ordered 2500 bullets, both hard and soft, for .357/.38, .45 Colt, and 9mm.

According to their website, I should use their cowboy .45 colt bullet with a BHN of 12 for my moderate .45 colt loads (700-800 fps). After trying 5 different powder combinations (which work great with every “Hard Cast” bullet I’ve tried, I was unable to find a combination that did not lead my barrel using Missouri bullets. I then tried their harder (BHN 18) bullet and while the leading was less, it was still much more evident than with any of the “non-optimized” bullets I use. I also tried these bullets in my 460 S&W mag TC encore. I did not expect a clean bore since these “moderate” loads are still pushing over 1500fps. The Missouri bullets resulted in extreme leading while amazingly enough, my mastercast bullets produced minimal leading at 1600+ fps! I’m still developing this load at the present time.

.357 was another area where I had high hopes since I cannot find a good .38spl load using a lead bullet that won’t lead my magnum revolver. I thought using a soft bullet would perhaps better seal and prevent gas cutting. Wrong again. The missouri’s (both the BHN 12 and 18) resulted in considerable leading using everything from light .38 loads to heavy .357. It was less with the .357 brass and harder bullets but still nowhere near the clean, shiny bore I get after firing mastercast. I am still searching for a .38 load using lead bullets that will not lead my .357 mag revolver.

9mm was my latest venture. I only recently got my first 9mm pistol so my initial bullet supply was limited to nothing but the BHN 18 missouri’s. I worked up a load based on accuracy and lack of leading and the best load still left me with some scrubbing to do. Afterwards, I picked up some mastercast bullets of the same weight and worked up a load completely independently of what worked with the missouri’s. Both loads are firing at about 1100fps with different powders and the mastercast are as clean as jacketed.

I’m not totally discounting softer bullets. I think they may have a place with black powder or with light loads using hollow-base designs but this is not my area. As it stands, I am very disappointed with Missouri bullets and instead of believing “hard-cast” to be a gimmick, I now believe “hardness optimized” is the real gimmick.

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ColtPythonElite
February 17, 2011, 09:22 PM
Odd....I have fired a pile of MBC bullets in .357, .40, and .45ACP and have had no leading issues.

USSR
February 17, 2011, 09:24 PM
Jinzoningen80,

Actually, BHN is the gimmick. It's more about proper bullet sizing for your particular gun than bullet hardness. Casting and sizing yourself has it's advantages.

Don

MissouriBullet
February 17, 2011, 09:46 PM
Jinzoningen80, do you know what the actual Brinell hardness value of Mastercast bullets is? If so, what is it?

I think you would be surprised to learn the actual hardness values of the various manufacturers' offerings. Values greater than 18 are rare. Oregon Trail is 22-24, and Penn Bullets can go to 20 for some of their offerings, as I recall. But most others are 12-16, as that is the sweet spot range for most shooters' applications.

As mentioned, leading is determined by a variety of factors, only one of which is bullet hardness. The hardness is something that the bullet manufacturer can control. He can also control the diameter, of course. But the gun has a major part to play, also, especially so in revolvers.

We have many, many customers whose experience is at variance with yours. Some of them have reported - in this very forum - using our .358 158 grain SWC bullet in their .357's at 1450 fps with excellent accuracy and no leading problems. And other bullets/calibers/velocities, as well. So, it strikes me as a bit odd that your experience is apparently so different.

I don't think your leading problems are the sole consequence of the bullet hardness factor.

What is a "hard-cast" bullet? How can it be objectively differentiated from a non-hard cast bullet? Upon what sort of scale would this difference be represented? The Brinell Hardness scale, maybe? At what hardness level does a bullet enter the category of "hard-cast"? What I am asking is - do you consider Mastercast's bullets to be "hard-cast" and the ones we make to not be? And if this is the case, then I think you will be surprised to learn that your conceptual basis has a basic flaw. If the BHN is the way you determine whether a bullet is "hard-cast" or not, then why don't you find out what the BHN value of the bullets that have been working for you is, and see where that leaves your conception of things.

Brad

ps - SNS uses the same exact alloy as ours - same manufacturer, same antimonial/tin mix, poured from the same vats into the same ingot moulds. We use the same casting and sizing equipment, as well. And the same moulds sets. So why are their bullets "hard-cast" and ours - aren't - again?

Jinzoningen80
February 17, 2011, 10:48 PM
I have no idea what hardness mastercast bullets are. That is one of the reasons I thought the whole "hard cast" ideal was a gimmick. As i said, i have no hardness tester and all my assumptions about hardness strickly come from testing specific bullets in my specific guns.

for .357, I have a new S&W 686SSR and the only bullets i've fired through it without leading have been the mastercast bullets at magnum velocities (1300fps) i've tried both your BHN 12 bullets at .38spl velocities (in both 357 and 38 brass) and your BHN 18 bullets at low and high velocities looking for some sort of sweet spot but nothing has produced the cleanliness i get from using mastercast.

It's very frustrating to me because I feel that softer alloys have a place and in some instances should provide better accuracy but I'm not seeing anything but a barrels full of lead. I do not understand what is going on, whether it be gas cutting or erosion of the base but something isn't working for me.

As far as a direct comparison with SNS, i will say that i've only used them in 45 ACP and had no problems, I have not used mastercast in 45 ACP. My issues are with my 686, my ruger vaquero, my browning Hi-power, and my TC encore.

Ridgerunner665
February 17, 2011, 11:24 PM
Its not a gimmick....but is overstated most of the time.

I cast my own for my 45-70, using Rotometals hardball alloy (2% tin, 6% antimony, 92% lead)...its air cooled BHN is 16.

Cast it hot (750 degrees), drop it out of the mold into ice water...and its BHN is 30, this is what I use (my loads exceed 2,000 fps)

Bullet fit has more to do with leading than hardness...but both play a role.

NOLAEMT
February 17, 2011, 11:45 PM
Ive had NO leading at all, when shooting MBC 158 grain bullets in front of 15 grains of 2400 in my 686+.

I'm sorry your experience is different, but to come here and say that Missouri bullets is a "gimmick" is frankly libelous.

Gryffydd
February 18, 2011, 01:24 AM
The only gimmick when it comes to leading is thinking that there's only one factor to leading. Whether that be hardness, sizing, or powder choice or anything else.

It would be interesting to know whether the OP has slugged his chamber throats and bores, and what the results were. Actual loads used and chronographed velocities would be telling as well.

tooltech
February 18, 2011, 01:29 AM
I've got to jump on the bandwagon here. I've loaded thousands of MBC bullets in 9mm, and 45 ACP. I've never had any trouble with leading. A couple passes with a boresnake before I leave the range, clean with M-pro7 once I get home.

straitnate14
February 18, 2011, 01:42 AM
I like both MBC and S&S I would buy from MBC but I can drive 30min up the road and watch the guys make bullets and shoot the crap with them for a few minutes and not pay shipping.

Jech
February 18, 2011, 02:03 AM
Although hardness is certainly a factor to consider when you experience leading, it is just one factor of many. It's like saying that an oil change is the most important thing you can do for your car to keep it running. While ignoring the oil will most assuredly bring things to a grinding halt, there are a hundred other things that will cause catastrophic auto failure well before your oil burns up.

Hardness is stereotypically over-rated...I still don't understand how this fad got started. Proper fit for the specific bullet in YOUR gun is the most important factor in preventing leading. The guys over at castboolits.gunloads.com will champion that one all day long. http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm is my other favorite resource that backs up proper fit over hardness. Some of the things they do with 44mag and 8bhn bullets blew me away!

918v
February 18, 2011, 02:06 AM
Jinzoningen80,

Just because your bullets are hard does not mean they will not lead. Just because your bullets are soft does not mean they will lead either. Like USSR said, it's all about sizing and your firearm's dimensions. My guns don't lead with 12 BHN Missouri bullets or with pure lead swaged bullets for that matter.

A lead bullet should be small enough to feed reliably, but large enough to seal the chamber throat and the barrel. This usually means a bullet .001" under the diameter we are trying to seal. Here is where BHN and pressure come into play. At low pressures we need a soft bullet that will obturate enough to seal the .001" gap. There is no need for a 22 BHN bullet. Hard bullets are only needed for high pressure high velocity applications.

If your gun is leading at low pressures with soft bullets, your gun's dimensions are off.

ljnowell
February 18, 2011, 02:09 AM
I shoot the 357 action bullet loaded over 14.5gr of 2400 with no leading from a S&W 686. I also use the softballs in 45acp, cowboy #9s in 45 colt, 300gr Siliohoutte in 45 colt, and 148gr DEWC in 357. No leading from any of those.

AKMac
February 18, 2011, 02:21 AM
I've been picking up leading right after the forcing cone of my 629 using the 18 brinell 240gr Keith's, and 6.5gr of unique or 231.

So what your saying is I should bump up the pressure to create a better seal, thus reducing leading?

918v
February 18, 2011, 03:47 AM
Yes

Jinzoningen80
February 18, 2011, 07:29 AM
guys i've come here to seek answers not bash missouri. I think they are a great company and i'm not discouraging anyone from TRYING their bullets. They have a good reputation and they are the only company i know that offers sample packs. bravo!

I'm am merely using this open forum to relay MY specific experiences with MY specific guns using SEVERAL missouri bullets and i do not feel my experiments have been lacking. I tried 5 different types of their bullets. I've used them in 3 different guns, all of which have fired other brands of lead bullets without problem. I've varied powder charges giving me velocities from the low 700s in .38 to 2000fps in the 460. and where applicable, i used different kinds of brass (.38 in the .357 and .45colt in the 460s&W.) I'm not trying to overexaggerate the discrepency here either - yes i HAVE gotten leading from other brands of bullets and yes i HAVE minimized leading with missouri but it was a lot harder to do and it is always present

I'm not saying that hardness is the only factor in determining leading and i do realize that many other factors will affect it and that is why i tested and tested until i ran out of options. i will not say that my guns are at fault or the chamber throats are too tight (i DID have the .45colt reamed to proper dimension and the .460 is a single shot) given what i have, i am simply stating that i have not found missouri bullets effective for me. your mileage may vary.

i encourage everyone to always try new bullets especially from the small businesses and especially from a company that offers sample packs. given what mr. missouri said about SNS using the same equipment and method, i think i'll get some of their .357mag and do a direct comparison with missouri. if they are the same, however, i'm left to wonder why SNS does not offer multiple harnesses or even state their BHN on their webpage? - in any event the ONLY thing that can determine whether a bullet will work for you is for you to get some and load them up.

MissouriBullet
February 18, 2011, 08:47 AM
if they are the same, however, i'm left to wonder why SNS does not offer multiple harnesses or even state their BHN on their webpage?

We both purchase our alloy from Mayco Industries. I purchase the 2/6/92, same as SNS, and I also purchase 100% pB. I use the latter to alloy the 2/6/92 down to 12 BHN, while SNS sticks with the one alloy and thus, only produces one hardness.

Travis Two
February 18, 2011, 09:03 AM
I have seen various threads througout the forums in which there have been complaints about leading issues with Missouri bullets. I attribute much of that to improper loadings and or size issues.
That does not seem to be the case here which is curious as to why the issue with one brand over another that use similar or same materials.

I would tend to suspect that it might be a lube issue since they probably use different lubes from one another. That could be the variable.

MissouriBullet
February 18, 2011, 09:22 AM
SNS uses Magma Engineering lube, whereas we use Thompsons Blue Angel, which is a bit of a higher-temp lube, FWIW. The characteristics of both are very similar, actually, but I have found that the Thompsons "sticks" a bit better, causing less damage in transit. Although, the USPS can knock any lube off of any bullet when they set their mind to it!

Robert Palermo /Penn Bullets
February 18, 2011, 09:26 AM
The term " Hard Cast" is an advertising gimmick used by some bullet makers as the problem is there is no industry standard for what consitutes "Hard Cast"
In 30 years I have seen too many casters use the term on bullets made from straight wheelweights to linotype bullets.
Use of BHN numbers was being listed as a way to quantify the differances between the makers but I have issues with BHN numbers being the sole determining factor as it doesn't relate to alloy strength which to me is a more important factor and I cover more of this in detail on the web site.

Companies like Missouri and ourselves and others have provided information on what and how we make our products to provide consumers a way to make informed choices.

I can't address the particular problem the OP has with Missouris product and not with the others he has used. It could be a lube issue as well as several other variables.

EMC45
February 18, 2011, 09:53 AM
Casting and sizing your own bullets is key. I got sucked into the "Push as hard and fast as jacketed" mentality and was sorely dissappointed. Not until I started casting my own and slugging my barrels did I achieve my desired results. Bore diameters vary. Sometimes considerably.

MissouriBullet
February 18, 2011, 10:35 AM
The term " Hard Cast" is an advertising gimmick used by some bullet makers as the problem is there is no industry standard for what consitutes "Hard Cast"
In 30 years I have seen too many casters use the term on bullets made from straight wheelweights to linotype bullets.

Bingo, Bob. That's the point I was trying to make when I asked the OP to quantify the definition of "hard-cast." It's an ill-defined term and, as such, is useless.

BHN is certainly not the definitive measurement of alloy strength, but it is a critical component of that measurement. We can easily provide that number, and so we do.

I think a lot of people would be surprised to learn how many companies out there selling "hard-cast" bullets are making bullets made from wheelweights and other scrap metal, rather than certified analysis foundry metal alloy made to specification.

I think that one should always ask.

Brad

USSR
February 18, 2011, 10:39 AM
Use of BHN numbers was being listed as a way to quantify the differances between the makers but I have issues with BHN numbers being the sole determining factor as it doesn't relate to alloy strength...

Yep! BHN doesn't tell you squat about a bullet's performance in your particular firearm or, even more importantly, it's terminal performance on target. For example, I can use two alloys that both are 8-9 BHN to cast hollowpoint bullets, and one will fracture on impact, while the other will mushroom beautifully.

Don

millertyme
February 18, 2011, 11:18 AM
Good thread.

equalizer
February 18, 2011, 11:27 AM
Missouri Bullets = :D for me.

bds
February 18, 2011, 11:33 AM
Jinzoningen80, welcome back to THR! :D

My observation has been that THR posters usually get to the bottom of the cause when a "I have such and such problem" thread is started.

I have used "hard cast" bullets to 24 BHN in the past and often got leading unless I pushed them near max load data. As many posted, leading involves several variables and I suggest further investigation and testing would resolve your leading problem.

My experience with the 18 BHN Missouri Bullets "in general" with several different make of pistols and models (1911s, Berettas, CZs, Glocks, M&Ps, Ruger/S&W revolvers, Sigs, Taurus, XDs) is that pushing them mid-to-high range load data produces minimal to no leading. YMMV

bds
February 18, 2011, 11:34 AM
Oops, duplicate.

243winxb
February 18, 2011, 11:51 AM
How often does the alloy get fluxed? What if the employees get lazy and add alloy to the pot and dont flux? :confused: Is all the tin floating on the top? :uhoh:

SlamFire1
February 18, 2011, 11:55 AM
I have shot tens of thousands, may be getting close to 100,000 bullets from a local caster.

His bullets are 13 BHM.

I get a little leading, depends on the application and the powder. In my 357's, Blue Dot created leading while 2400 and AA#9 did not, at the same velocities. So, weird things happen.

I always get leading in the throats of my 45ACP's.

Can't say that when I shot "hard cast" bullets that my experience was any different.

At the end of the day, I shoot enough jacketed to remove what ever leading there may be in the forcing cone or in a groove.

918v
February 18, 2011, 12:38 PM
Is all the tin floating on the top?

When you're casting, there is not enough time for the tin to seperate and float to the top.

Gryffydd
February 18, 2011, 02:46 PM
guys i've come here to seek answers not bash missouri.
I don't think anybody so much has a problem with you "bashing" MBC, so much as your assumption that because you don't get leading from brand A but you do from brand B, therefor brand A must be "hard cast" and brand B must not be.

MissouriBullet
February 18, 2011, 04:19 PM
I don't think anybody so much has a problem with you "bashing" MBC, so much as your assumption that because you don't get leading from brand A but you do from brand B, therefor brand A must be "hard cast" and brand B must not be.
Yep.

And for me, the fact that the problem wasn't handled privately via direct email or a phone call. As recently happened on another forum, a user went directly to the forums with his complaint instead of giving the manufacturer a chance to deal with the problem. As it happened, that manufacturer was MasterCast.

In a nutshell, that user wound up profoundly regretting his action and apologized to MasterCast. Bob P. and I entered the thread with our beliefs about basic business ethics in general and in defense of MasterCast in particular, and we both agreed with everyone else that one should take a problem directly to the vendor FIRST and then later, if satisfaction is not reached, other recourse can ethically be taken.

All of us on the manufacturing side who intend to remain in business are happy to try to help customers as best we can. Usually, we will bend over backwads to do.

But to be told that our bullets are not "hard-cast" and therefore, "hard-cast" is "not a myth" - when the poster cannot even state what "hard-cast" means - is a little much for an easy-going, relaxed guy like me to bear.

Brad

evan price
February 18, 2011, 04:27 PM
Do you have a rougher bore? What diameter are the MBC vs the others? What is your bore and throat size?

I was all over the harder-is-better bandwagon until I started casting myself. Then I found that water-quenched range scrap which comes up between 12-14 BHN (Just a bit softer than a standard #2 pencil) that is SIZED PROPERLY for the gun I shoot it in, even just tumble-lubed in ALOX, shoots without leading.

angus6
February 18, 2011, 05:15 PM
We both purchase our alloy from Mayco Industries. I purchase the 2/6/92, same as SNS, and I also purchase 100% pB. I use the latter to alloy the 2/6/92 down to 12 BHN, while SNS sticks with the one alloy and thus, only produces one hardness.

While I use the same foundry as Brad and same equipment but a different lube,White Label Lube commercial mix from Lars, little softer and sticky.
I've yet to have a leading issue with the 2/6/92 in 9mm, .40s&w or .45acp, now some of the guys that I shoot with that use my bullets have had to play with their loads a bit but now have no issues either

Every guns a little different and everyones reloading technique is a little different that's part of the fun of handloading

rduckwor
February 18, 2011, 05:30 PM
I shoot Brad's "IDPA" class bullets (hardness = 18 I think) and get a little bit of leading at 870fps across the chrono with 45ACP.

It isn't a big deal and it comes right out with a bore snake when I clean.

I'll take some leading any day for accuracy, good lube, reliable dimensions, good Q/C and excellent service.

YMMV,

RMD.

kelbro
February 18, 2011, 05:35 PM
I don't see the difference in this and the Hornady/Sierra/Nosler debates about 'coppering' barrels. I have some rifles that Hornadys copper and Sierras don't. Another barrel, same manufacturer, just the opposite. Does it mean that Hornadys are better than Sierra or vice versa? Nope.

youngda9
February 18, 2011, 06:31 PM
I've been picking up leading right after the forcing cone of my 629 using the 18 brinell 240gr Keith's, and 6.5gr of unique or 231.

So what your saying is I should bump up the pressure to create a better seal, thus reducing leading?
I shoot the exact same bullet in my 629 using 10.5gr of Unique at 1250fps with no leading at all.

youngda9
February 18, 2011, 06:39 PM
Sounds to me like TS has run a lot of "tests"...but does not entirely understand what is going on. You need to slug your gun and then order the proper sized bullets. Size, Hardness, Pressure...these are the variables that go into leading. You need to start with the right size bullet and then figure out the hardness and pressure that give you the results you require, whether that is max velocity or just no leading.

Read this to understand it.
http://hgmould.gunloads.com/casting/sluggingthebore.htm

Jinzoningen80
February 18, 2011, 06:40 PM
And for me, the fact that the problem wasn't handled privately via direct email or a phone call. As recently happened on another forum, a user went directly to the forums with his complaint instead of giving the manufacturer a chance to deal with the problem.

How exactly could you deal with this problem? are you going to completely change your formulas/lube/whatever you think will give me bullets without lead? No. It's not a matter of "try this load or a different gun" I've done all that. This is not a problem to be solved by you, the manufacturer. I tried your product and was not satisfied. This forum is full of people who are satisfied but I'm not and I have just as much right to tell my story.

I want to help the new reloader who might come here looking for guidance and find your site and try your bullets. He may invest in your product and spend a lot of time and money trying to get them to work and end up like me, with a lot of lead to clean. He may then get frustrated with lead bullets and give up. Well I want that kid to know that there are other brands worth trying even if a lot of people here say missouri's bullets are the best.

As I've said, i have no quantitative measurements of hardness or anything else. I base my assumptions on my experiences. Jacketed are harder than cast and therefore bullets that don't lead my bore are closer to jacketed and thus "harder." I've not had a problem with a lead bullet being too hard so it's only logical that harder=better, again, based on my experiences.

I wish i could be more scientific and give definitive metallurgical analyses but I'm just an end user and i will not apologize for simply stating that I've had a bad experience with a brand of bullets. I've defended missouri and even encouraged others to try them out but I will stand by my original statement that Harder bullets are not a gimmick and for my money, i'll seek out and pay for the hardest bullets i can find.

Hunt480
February 18, 2011, 06:44 PM
I've been picking up leading right after the forcing cone of my 629 using the 18 brinell 240gr Keith's, and 6.5gr of unique or 231.

So what your saying is I should bump up the pressure to create a better seal, thus reducing leading?
I use 22 grains IMR4227 with this MBC 240 keith with no leading issues whatsoever and super accurate out of a SRH

Jinzoningen80
February 18, 2011, 06:50 PM
You need to slug your gun and then order the proper sized bullets. Size, Hardness, Pressure...these are the variables that go into leading. You need to start with the right size bullet and then figure out the hardness and pressure that give you the results you require,

I am not having a leading problem with all my bullets in all my guns. I do not need to slug my bore and look at the gun as the problem. As i said, i've had great experience with mastercast and TNT and Mt Baldy. If my gun was over/undersized, i would have had problems with them. My issue is with the softer bullets sold by missouri that lead my bore at any velocity and with every gun. I do realize there are other aspects to leading but i've ruled them out and am left with "hardness" as the only variable.

youngda9
February 18, 2011, 07:32 PM
"I do not need to slug my bore and look at the gun as the problem."
You still clearly do not understand the issue. The gun is not the problem...you need to know what SIZE bullet it needs. It is a size issue if you are getting leading from one bullet and not from another, with the same charge with the bullets of the SAME HARDNESS AND SAME MATERIAL. If you do not get this then you can't be helped.

From Missouri:

SNS uses the same exact alloy as ours - same manufacturer, same antimonial/tin mix, poured from the same vats into the same ingot moulds. We use the same casting and sizing equipment, as well. And the same moulds sets. So why are their bullets "hard-cast" and ours - aren't - again?

The lead is the same. The size is different, you don't even know what size you need. That is the problem. Slug and order .001 over. This is the standard formula that seems to work.

You have run a bunch of "experiements" with no science behind it except your misunderstanding about hardness and how much of a factor it really is. SIZE is the greatest factor, hardness and pressure are next.

MissouriBullet
February 18, 2011, 07:38 PM
I do realize there are other aspects to leading but i've ruled them out and am left with "hardness" as the only variable.

No you aren't. Mt. Baldy's bullets for handguns are, respectively (from their website http://www.mtbaldybullets.com/asp/products.asp#Revolver):

Revolver (11 BHN) / Smokeless (18 BHN)

Mastercast says: "Our alloy is a 2% Tin,6% Antimony with the balance Lead. Using an LBT hardness tester, our bullets are 18 to 20 on the Brinell Hardness Scale." We use the same 2/6/92 as Mastercast with the same resultant BHN (18 really, not 20, if the truth be known, which is why we state 18.)

You stated that our bullets are softer than the others you have tried. They aren't. Mt. Baldy's revolver bullets are softer than ours and the "smokeless" bullets are the same. Ditto for Mastercast.

Your assertion is demonstrably wrong, according to the manufacturers' websites. Thus, your case fails.

I don't know about TNT because their website offers no hardness information.

Hardness is thus shown to be, in two known cases out of three, not the variable causing your problem. I've tried to explain this before. You haven't been shooting bullets that are any harder than ours, unless you've used the Penn Bullets' special 20 BHN or Laser Cast 22's BHN's.

Brad

Gryffydd
February 18, 2011, 09:00 PM
jacketed are harder than cast and therefore bullets that don't lead my bore are closer to jacketed and thus "harder." I've not had a problem with a lead bullet being too hard so it's only logical that harder=better, again, based on my experiences.
This is just baffling.

kelbro
February 18, 2011, 11:20 PM
It's clear that the OP doesn't have a complete grasp on all of the causes of 'leading'. It's easy to point to the symptom and see that a bullet with a higher advertised hardness makes the symptom go away. That is exactly why so many manufacturers use the HARDCAST marketing term. It must solve the problem for a lot of shooters.

Harder bullets may in fact eliminate leading in some guns so the idea is not totally without merit.

If a guy doesn't know his barrel/throat sizes, doesn't have a hardness tester, doesn't measure the bullets that he bought, what does it matter to him about all of the critical dimensions if his problem goes away.

Not everyone wants (or has time) to go through the work of determining the best combination of alloy, primer, powder and lube. If they find something that works, they are happy.

Me, I enjoy the tweaking and tuning most of the time. I have pistols that shoot 6BHN, 10 BHN, 15 BHN, and 28BHN bullets without a streak of leading. Different powders and different lubes with each level of hardness. I have learned that the right powder and pressure curve with the appropriate lube will provide me with the accuracy and trouble-free shooting that I demand.

I got to this point by being totally dissatisfied with the cast lead options that were available in the local shops. Had I found bullets that would shoot in all of my guns without leading, I probably would not have gone down the path of developing my own loads.

Bottom line is that the OP found a solution to his problem. Without all of the options available today, he might have become one of those guys that you hear at the range saying they gave up on lead because they couldn't get it to shoot without leading.

FROGO207
February 19, 2011, 12:50 AM
Nowhere here has the OP said that he has MEASURED his bullets as to the ACTUAL diameter and compared them to the other brands. What the box says may not be the EXACT size of the bullet. The reason the one brand is not leading might be a small size difference IMHO. I find that none of the lead bullets I have tried have leaded to any extent in any of my firearms to date. YMMV

snuffy
February 19, 2011, 04:08 AM
Commercial Bullet Casters
How often does the alloy get fluxed? What if the employees get lazy and add alloy to the pot and don't flux? Is all the tin floating on the top?

Tin does NOT float to the top. That's a myth that just won't die!:barf: Once tin is added to lead, it becomes an alloy, a solution, it can never separate.

But it is a good question, Brad, do you flux the melt once an ingot has melted, and come up to casting temp? A bottom pour machine should never need additional fluxing once up to temp. Adding sprues or more lead would require another fluxing.

As to the OP's problem, he's a couple chapters short of a story by not knowing the diameter of his throats, or the barrel. Also he seems to be missing a means to measure the bullets he's loading. A simple caliper, or a micrometer to read the ACTUAL diameter of those "hard cast" bullets that work so well. Possibly Brad's bullets are .357, and the "hard cast" are .358?

4sooth
February 19, 2011, 01:37 PM
When I was casting my own bullets in the mid eighties, I probably shot over 100,000 projectiles during a six year period which were cast from straight wheel weights. Caliber were .38 special, 9mm, .45 ACP. I also shot many of the old Taurus line of swaged projectiles in the same calibers. ALL of these produced more than enough accuracy for casual shooting in un-accurized guns such as S&W revolvers, Colt automatics and Glocks.
My Eversull/Davis PPC guns would shoot into 1 inch or better with either my hand cast or the swaged bullets at 25 yards. All the hand cast (revolver) were sized to .357. I never culled the hand cast for quality--even the wrinkled ones went down range. The accuracy difference between the best commercial and wrinkled hand cast was about 1/2 to 1 inch at 25 yards from my Ransom rest. At 50 yards from my Davis PPC gun the difference was 1 1/2 for the best projectiles and 2 1/2 for the worst(wrinkled) hand cast.
I had a 6 inch 686 which would produce 1 1/2 - 2 inch groups with anything shot through it. Sold it in a moment of foolishness. Wish I had that one back.
In a quality firearm, virtually any well made projectile should shoot into less than three inches at 25 yards--more than accurate enough for most types of casual shooting. All my Glocks, S&W revolvers and semi-autos will equal or exceed this standard--and I have no trouble knocking down 8 inch plates at 25 yards.
With this in mind I buy the least expensive bullets I can get at any given time. Through the years I've never been able to demonstrate enough difference in PRACTICAL accuracy to buy the more expensive offerings.

Damon555
February 19, 2011, 03:11 PM
I think it's interesting to see how this is working out. This should be discussed openly so others can learn from both camps........

Hondo 60
February 19, 2011, 03:40 PM
I too have used MBC with great results.

I'd guess if you mic'ed up a couple of MBCs & a couple of Mastercasts that is where you'll find the difference.

I'd also recommend you slug your barrel. That will give you an even better hint on what's going on.

627PCFan
February 19, 2011, 06:25 PM
+1 on MBC. Im running 158grain 18bhn's @ 1450 FPS and I get little, little leading. Face it, your going to get some leading, and its unacceptable, go back to jacketed-

bds
February 21, 2011, 12:16 PM
Jinzoningen80, this is THR.

Most posters here are genuinely interested in "objectively" solving reloading related problems and will often debunk "subjective" myths or inaccurate posting (believe me, I have been corrected quickly many times when I posted inaccurate information :D). An example of this is the myth of powder breakdown when tumbling loaded rounds. I have read in several other gun forums the notion that tumbling loaded rounds will break the powder down and create detonation dangers.

Several THR posters took on the challenge and tumbled loaded rounds continuously for 24-72 hours and took close up photos. Well, the powder did not break down and put to rest this myth for good based on "objective" findings, at least here on THR.
I'm am merely using this open forum to relay MY specific experiences with MY specific guns using SEVERAL missouri bullets ... I tried 5 different types of their bullets. I've used them in 3 different guns ... I'm not trying to overexaggerate the discrepency here either - yes i HAVE gotten leading from other brands of bullets and yes i HAVE minimized leading with missouri but it was a lot harder to do and it is always present

As I've said, i have no quantitative measurements of hardness or anything else. I base my assumptions on my experiences.
Well, I heard assumptions are the mother of all mess-ups. I would estimate that various comments about Missouri Bullets posted on THR are based on hundreds of posters who have used quite a number of bullet/powder/charge combinations and fired them in hundreds of different firearms. Statistically, I think this is large enough sample size to "objectively" evaluate leading issue of 18/12 BHN MBC bullets.

In fact, leading with MBC bullets has been discussed in various threads to resolutions that produced minimal leading or eliminated leading. Variables that often causes leading were addressed (barrel size, bullet to bore fit, powder charge, etc. to include bullet hardness and alloy strength) depending on the particular firearms used.

I want to help the new reloader who might come here looking for guidance and find your site and try your bullets. He may invest in your product and spend a lot of time and money trying to get them to work and end up like me, with a lot of lead to clean. He may then get frustrated with lead bullets and give up.
Recommendations that reduce/eliminate leading are often posted based on actual experience with particular pistol/caliber/bullet weight/bullet profile/powder charge/OAL to help the reloaders requesting information.

guys i've come here to seek answers not bash missouri ... I now believe “hardness optimized” is the real gimmick.
No comment.

bds
February 21, 2011, 12:49 PM
Here are some related articles on lead bullet hardness and leading:

A Few Comments on Cast Bullet Alloys (http://www.lasc.us/FryxellCommentsCBAlloys.htm) By: Glen E. Fryxell

Cast bullet hardness, specifically the hardness of the various alloys used to make cast bullets, has raised a lot of questions and confusion lately. A very common misconception is that leading is caused by the bullet being too soft and the lead gets stripped off or abraded away from the bullet's bearing surface as it passes down the bore. This misguided belief leads many new bullet casters to turn to expensive alloys like linotype, and/or elaborate heat treating methods to harden their bullets, thinking that this is the only way to prevent leading.

There are very, very few revolver applications that require a BHN of over 20. In my experience, revolver leading can almost always be traced to some other factor (inadequate lubrication, improper sizing, barrel/frame constriction, etc.). Only very rarely is barrel leading caused by the bullet being too soft. In support of this claim, let me point out that many muzzle loaders prefer bullets cast from 30-to-1 alloy (which is quite soft, BHN of about 9) and these smokepole slugs are routinely driven to 1300-1400 fps. In addition, high-velocity .22 Long Rifle ammo uses an even softer bullet at over 1200 fps (and if a .22 leads, it's a gun problem, not an ammo problem). Elmer Keith's favorite cast bullet alloy was 16-to-1 lead/tin, which has a BHN of only 11. This is the alloy that gave a roaring birth to the .44 Magnum using plain-based cast bullets loaded to 1400+ fps. Properly loaded and lubed, Elmer's alloy will leave a magnum revolver barrel shiny and clean after a long day shooting.

Cast Bullet Alloys and Obturation - http://www.lasc.us/FryxellCBAlloyObturation.htm

LASC Cast Bullet Notes Page (lead bullet compositions and hardness testing) - http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm

Lead Head
March 8, 2011, 10:24 PM
I have to say I have the same problem as Jinzoningen80 is having. I stumbled upon some 9 MM Missouri Bullets loading three different powders from max to under minimum loads and they all leaded up my barrel such as to spend a good hour cleaning it out. I have never in more than 40 years experienced leading like that.

bds
March 8, 2011, 10:36 PM
loading three different powders from max to under minimum loads and they all leaded up my barrel
Lead Head, did you shoot the different powder/charge loads at the same time? What pistol, powders and charges were you using? This information may help us help you decrease the leading in your barrel.

When I initially tested MBC 9mm 125 gr SmallBall bullets last year, I got leading at near max load data in Glock 22/27 with Lone Wolf 40-9 conversion barrels with W231/HP38. When I decreased the powder charge, the leading decreased. Currently, I get minimal leading with mid-range load data.

Lead Head
March 8, 2011, 10:41 PM
I beat a path between my house and the range, there is no question it was the bullets that caused the leading problem. When I switched to my usual supplier the problem went away with any of the loads. Unfortunately I bought a gun I really shouldn't have at the time I bought it and a buddy helped me out lending me some bullets since at Christmas I was broke and that's how I got the problemed MB's.

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